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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment » Agroecosystems Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #412709

Research Project: Physiological, Microbiological, and Nutritional Mechanisms to Maintain Animal Productivity in the Absence of Antibiotics

Location: Agroecosystems Management Research

Title: Effects of aronia melanocarpa juice-powder on hindgut function and performance in post-weaned pigs

item Pearce, Sarah
item Anderson, Christopher
item Kerr, Brian

Submitted to: Journal of Functional Foods
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/18/2024
Publication Date: 4/20/2024
Citation: Pearce, S.C., Anderson, C.L., Kerr, B.J. 2024. Effects of aronia melanocarpa juice-powder on hindgut function and performance in post-weaned pigs. Journal of Functional Foods. 116. Article 106196.

Interpretive Summary: Aronia melanocarpa also known as aronia or chokeberries are native to the Midwest and are grown locally in central Iowa. These berries are thought to contain some of the highest concentrations of anti-oxidants of all berries and have been used previously as a human supplement, but not regularly in farm animals. Dried juice powder is a potentially easy way to top-dress pig feed or mix in as a supplement. Aronia berries are thought to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties that may improve animal health. In the current study we tested two levels of aronia berry powder in animal feed, 0.5, and 1%. Pigs were fed diets containing these levels of aronia berry powder for 14 d and then examined for markers of gut health and animal performance (body weight gain and feed intake), diarrhea, inflammation, gut microbial ecology, and intestinal function. No negative effects were observed due to either aronia berry powder level fed. Some positive effects on intestinal function and inflammation were observed, but no changes to gut microbes or animal performance. Based on the results obtained, it is believed that feeding aronia berry powder to pigs longer would be beneficial to induce changes at a performance level in the future. This data is useful to the scientific community on potential impacts of feeding aronia berry powder to animal performance and various physiological components of animal wellbeing.

Technical Abstract: Aronia melanocarpa (AM) or aronia berries are native to the Midwest United States and used as a supplement. A study involving 24 gilts and barrows (n=8/treatment) were divided into three treatment groups which consisted of control (CON), a diet containing 0.5% (LoBerry), or 1.0% AM juice powder (HiBerry). Pigs were fed for 14 d and then tissues were collected. No differences in pig performance parameters due to treatments were observed. Ileum IL-18 tended to be lower in pigs fed the LoBerry diet while IFN-' in the colon was increased in pigs fed either AM diet. There were several changes in ileal gene expression in pigs fed the LoBerry diet compared to pigs fed the CON diet, including BMI1, CLDN2, JAM2, and MYLK, which are largely related to barrier and stem cell function. In the colon, CLDN2, REG3G, SI, and SLC6A19 were increased in pigs fed the LoBerry diet. There were no differences found in species richness or Shannon diversity for the colonic microbiome between diets. In conclusion, feeding AM juice powder may have a positive impact in young pigs at the gene level, but may require longer feeding time to observe performance differences.